The town of Silent Hill is a small town in Maine, found on the shores of Toluca Lake and surrounded by wooded hills and rivers. Silent Hill is bisected horizontally by the lake. Because of this, one can find the district of Paleville in the northern area and South Vale to the south.
Planes of RealityEdit
Thanks to the curse, Silent Hill is split into three different planes of reality, known as the Real World, Fog World and Otherworld.
The Real World is the least visited world of Silent Hill. This is where the actual town, free from its curse, lies. People walk the streets, cars drive down the roads, the fog isn't a constant thing, and, most importantly, there are no monsters roaming the streets.
The most frequented of Silent Hill's worlds is the Fog World. With an unnatural fog rolling into town off of Toluca Lake, the streets of Silent Hill appear abandoned. Cars may lie wrecked along the side of the road, while buildings stand vacant and dilapidated. The most abundant form of life around are monsters, who roam about unhindered. Many doors found throughout Silent Hill are broken, preventing access to a great many of the buildings there. This may be a result of the town, leading those who come here to their fate, whatever it may be. In some instances, snow seems to fall from the sky (or ash, as in the films and Homecoming). It has been demonstrated that the Fog World is, more or less, uniform between character perceptions. It should be noted that Dr. Michael Kaufmann in the original Silent Hill game makes reference to the snow being an oddity, given the time of year.
Another peculiarity lies within how many streets come to abrupt, unnatural endings. During the course of Harry Mason's visit (Silent Hill and its reimagining, Shattered Memories), the roads fall away, replaced by bottomless chasms. However, during James Sunderland's visit (Silent Hill 2), most of the streets are instead boarded up in an almost man-made way, with high walls covered in tarp, and in many cases, actual road blocks and wooden boards.
The final and most dramatic world of Silent Hill is the Otherworld. Appearing different to each individual, the Otherworld can be seen as a symbolic manifestation of a person’s psyche. For example, as generated by the mind of the badly injured Alessa Gillespie, Silent Hill had become incredibly dark and industrialized, with structures being composed of fencing, metal plates, fans, and piping. Smokestacks, windmills, and corpses also lend to the appearance of this world. Blood covers most things, if not everything, in this twisted world. This is considered the iconic appearance of the Otherworld.
Contrastingly, for Harry Mason in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, the Otherworld is encased in ice and snow, frozen over and glacial. For James Sunderland in Silent Hill 2, the town is merely a damp, dilapidated place, seemingly mired in a depressive state representative of his gloomy mentality.
The symbolism behind a particular representation of the Otherworld differs from character to character, with Alessa's injuries and fear of the Order lending greatly to her vision of the Otherworld, and Angela Orosco's hatred of her father and abusive childhood experiences creating hers (walls appear to be made of flesh with pistons thrusting in and out of them and it is "hot as hell", implying fire). Walter Sullivan had also created many Otherworlds through the Assumption ritual. The only location in the Otherworld that appears uniform across different representations is Nowhere, believed to be the centre of the Otherworld.
Silent Hill isn't the only area afflicted with this strange presence. On at least three separate occasions, locations outside of Silent Hill have become victims of this darkness. Shepherd’s Glen falls to this dark influence due to the breaking of a pact held between its founders and the old God, while Ashfield and Heather Masons's town both have areas overlapping with the strange phenomena identical to those of Silent Hill. This is most likely due to the influence of those with strong connections to the town.